4 Anti-Intellectualism in America The truly intelligent person translates ideas into practical solutions to real problems, lives “off” ideas instead of “for” them, and recognizes that human identity is found essentially in the heart, not the mind.Common sense v. Book learningExperience is the best teacher
6 Endless AbundanceAmerica is a land of infinite resources. We are so wealthy and productive that we will never run out of anything we need to survive and prosper.Bigger is better. New is betterConsumerism is good – more you have, better you areFrontier and ‘manifest destiny’
8 Individual FreedomAmericans have an innate right to personal freedom – the right to choose their own destinies, pursue their dreams, act in any way they see fit short of harming others or interfering with others’ freedom.
10 Material SuccessIn America hard work leads to good fortune which in turn results in money/fame/power for the virtuous individual.Ownership of personal property is a fundamental right and dutyPoverty is a sign of vice and lazinessAmerica is land of endless opportunity
12 Nuclear FamilyThe nuclear family (Dad, Mom, 2.5 kids and pet[s]) is the basic and most desirable American family unit.Everybody should be marriedDivorce is a failureFamily values are our greatest values
16 Rural SimplicityTrue American virtue and happiness are to be found by living close to nature on a farm or in a small town.The ‘good old days’ were less complicated and virtuousCities are places of sin, violence, and corruption
18 Technology as Protector and Savior Technology is good because it protects the other myths and helps ensure their continued validity (as long as technology doesn’t threaten the other myths, it is an essential good).Science is the servant of humankind“progress is our most important product” (old GM slogan)
20 Violence Outside the Law to Achieve Justice The Law is made by powerful figures who – at their best – create laws to foster the common good (but often ignore or run roughshod over individuals) or – at their worst – create a legal web which protects the status quo, punishes the innocent and fosters a bureaucracy which loses justice in details of the law.“extremism in defense of virtue is no vice” (Goldwater)